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2017 MTN FA CUP: KOTOKO'S ROAD TO THE FINAL

Posted on: Mon Oct 23, 2017 - Report by Sammie Frimpong

Come Sunday, Asante Kotoko take on archrivals Hearts of Oak in the finale of the 2017 FA Cup in Tamale, seeking to mark their fifth appearance in seven years with a 10th title. Kotoko's five-game path to the final has been quite some ride, the highlights of which follow.

 

BYFA 1 (1) - (3) 1 KOTOKO

Kotoko, like the remaining top-flight clubs, joined the competition this year in the Round of 64, kicking their campaign off in their home region -- a wee trip south to play Bekwai Youth Football Academy. Kwame Boateng netted just after the break for the Porcupine Warriors, only for Thomas Gyawu to level at the death for BYFA. A shootout ensued and Kotoko, then coached by ex-player Frimpong Manso, pipped the hosts -- who themselves had come that far via victory on penalties in the previous round -- by three converted kicks to one to seal passage. 

 

PROUD UNITED 0 - 1 KOTOKO 

Coast-based Proud United welcomed Kotoko in the succeeding stage a month later and, courtesy January signing Baba Mahama’s debut strike for the Reds that also ended a pretty bad winless run, broke the pride of the gutsy hosts. An easy game it wasn't against a lower-tier side so bent on forcing a ‘Cupset’, but Kotoko’s will to win, class, and experience ultimately won out. Page flipped.

 

KOTOKO 1 - 0 WASSAMAN 

In Kotoko's first 2017 FA Cup game before their own at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Mahama was again instrumental. He didn't score, no, but he did hassle and harry Wassaman’s rearguard enough to fetch a spotkick that skipper Amos Frimpong -- ever so accurate from 12 yards -- converted and which Kotoko hung on to for dear victory. Narrow, yes, but given that it was enough to take Kotoko a step closer to glory and double as the first positive result at home for Steve Polack’s team in three months, it certainly was lapped up with glee. Sharp! 

 

KOTOKO 2 - 1 NEA SALAMINA 

In a fixture delayed by a few weeks following Kotoko's tragic involvement in a road accident, Nea Salamina -- the high-flying DOL side that shares a name with some Cypriot club -- sought to punch above their weight in Kumasi and almost actually believed they could pull it off until another Frimpong penalty snuffed out those lofty ambitions. That was after forward Saddick Adams had given Kotoko the lead, Obeng Junior had equalized, and Kotoko fans were left on the edge of their seats in what has been their club’s highest-scoring game yet in the FA Cup this year. Relief.

 

KOTOKO 1 - 0 MEDEAMA

Kotoko's first assignment in October saw them come up against Premier League opposition for the first time in the 2017 FA Cup, a semi-final clash at a neutral venue, the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium. The original contest, commenced moments after final opponents Hearts had edged Wa All Stars on the same turf, was rained off mid-way, but Kotoko returned strong the next day and won by the odd goal -- Saddick Adams the extra-time winner.

 

Kotoko would look forward to making it a 2nd FA Cup title win in 5 finals come Sunday, October 29 in Tamale.

 

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